Business News of Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Source: GNA

Botswana businessmen meet Ghanaian counterparts

Accra, June 11, GNA - Botswana High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Norman Moleboge, on Wednesday called for trade investment between Ghanaian business community and their counterparts in Botswana.

He said there were lots of investment opportunities in Botswana that Ghanaian businessmen could take advantage of to grow their businesses. Mr. Moleboge, speaking at the 525th monthly meeting of Accra Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Accra, said Botswana was blessed with enough space for domestic animals, wildlife and agriculture, and especially for doing business.

He mentioned beef, leather, bricks tiles and glass industries as some of the areas that foreign investors could capture. Currently, Botswana has a cattle population of 2.5 million and are kept under two production systems - Traditional/Communal and Commercial systems.

The Ambassador said minerals and in particular, diamonds had remained the mainstay of Botswana's economy, helping propel the country's high economic growth rate.

"The diamond industry transformed Botswana from an agricultural-based economy to one in which diamonds accounts for 80 per cent of exports and 50 per cent of government revenue," he added. He said the country has lots of advantages such as the liberal tax regime, competitive investment incentives and favourable investment environment to enhance foreign investment and urged Ghanaians to partner Botswana businessmen to boost their trade.

Mr Ato Sampson, a consultant with the Business Development Service Fund (BDSF), said the fund had grants to be given to businesses with viable business plans to develop their businesses.

He said the BDSF, which was conceived from the SMEs has three components namely, access to finance, access to market and the e-Ghana component.

He said sectors that receive priority attention included textiles, horticulture, tourism, ICT, garment production, among others. According to the consultant, the BDSF provides 50 per cent of the total cost of an individual business plan and urged the meeting to contact them to access the fund to expand their businesses. The National Investment Bank and Agricultural Development Bank also made presentation on the various products available for businessmen.